Friday, January 25, 2008

Guest Blogger Kyra Hicks

A few days ago, I received an email from author/scholar/lecturer Kyra Hicks that, with her permission, I will reprint here in its entirety. Kyra is both a friend and client. I've had the privilege of promoting her breathtaking book, Black Threads: An African American Quilting Sourcebook and her stunning children's book, Martha Ann's Quilt for Queen Victoria. You can visit Kyra online by clicking here.

Here's the email Kyra sent to me:

Hello! Happy New Year! Hope you are doing well! I'm good. Martha Ann's Quilt for Queen Victoria continues to sell well. I thought about you and your Book PR blog. Here's a potential post for you!

Are you familiar with the Brown Bookshelf blog? It's a new effort by five African American children's book authors and illustrators to promote the category. One of the bloggers first national efforts is to promote African American children's book during the upcoming Black History Month.

The Brown Bookshelf is promoting a program called "28 Days Later" - featuring an African American children's book author or illustrator each day in February. Have a look at:

Not only that - did you know the CCBC estimated that there were only 87 African American authors of children's books in 2006??

I'm thrilled about the Brown Bookshelf effort. In the more than 100 books they reviewed, my own Martha Ann's Quilt for Queen Victoria was selected for one of the days!!!

All the best, Kyra

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ringo's loss is...someone's gain.

Don't you love it when a media interview goes so well that you're rewarded with extra air time? Or when there's a last-minute cancellation so you get the chance to go on the air or, again, to have your interview time extended?

Well, here's an interesting scenario. Imagine if an ex-Beatle is scheduled to sing a song on "Live With Regis and Kelly," and -- due to a misunderstanding (Ringo says he needs more time to perform the song, while the producer says there's no flexibility and the song has to be shortened). And, to make what sounds like a sad story even sadder, Ringo walks, leaving more airtime available for the remaining guests. That's what happened to a couple of lucky "Live with Regis and Kelly" guests today, according to this Associated Press news story.

I'll have to take the reporter's word for it since I didn't have the opportunity to watch the show myself. Of course, if I had known Ringo was scheduled to appear, I might have found a way to tune in....

Monday, January 07, 2008

Mixed news for Morton.

The buzz about Andrew Morton's new book, Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biograph, is both good news and bad news for Andrew Morton (not to mention for Tom Cruise and his family members). The good news for Morton is that, yes, the public is interested in Tom Cruise. He'll probably sell a lot of books, too, given all the book promotion opportunities Morton has received. Here's an example of one less-than-enthusiastic article about the book.

Now for the bad news: the amount of book publicity that Morton's book has garnered far outweighs the enthusiasm, and the respect, that the media is showing for the book and its author. How many authors would trade their media attention (or even their lack of media attention) for comments such as "the author knows he can’t back up many of the book’s claims," "a variety of other issues in the book involve clear inconsistencies or falsehoods," and "at best, Morton’s book is a best-of collection of Cruise rumors?" Not I, says this book publicist...and I'll bet my book promotion clients feel the same way.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Book Promotion in 2008

This book publicist hopes that all authors and publishers can garner the book promotion opportunities they're seeking in 2008. That includes authors and publishers who can afford to hire a book publicist, and those who cannot.

For those who can afford to outsource their book promotion campaigns, I'm glad to consider taking on your project. Take a look at my client list to see the types of projects I've represented recently and, if your book fits into those genres, let me know. I've written about how to find a book promotion firm that's best-suited for your book project, but the concise advice on hiring a book publicist is this. Check out book publicity-related Web sites; contact book publicists; describe your project; narrow down the prospects based on book publicists' interest in your project; do a "chemistry check" with prospective book publicists; request book promotion proposals (these book publicity plans and associated costs should be free); and then make your choice.

But, each day, book publicists receive far more queries from prosective clients than we can handle. Sometimes, we even receive more queries than we can respond to. Don't get me wrong. I appreciate every inquiry I receive from an author or publisher, and I get in touch with each as quickly as possible -- whenever possible. But paying clients' needs and projects must take precedence over incoming emails and phone calls from authors and publishers, and sometimes my good intentions exceed my ability to help out all the book projects that deserve media attention.

There just aren't enough hours in the day to offer book promotion advice to every author and publisher whom I cannot represent, but as a next-best offering, I've put together some book promotion offerings -- some low-cost, and some free -- that all authors and publishers can use.

First, we've relaunched, a site where you can find more than 200 book promotion tips that have been tested in the field by book publicists and their clients. These tips are free. You'll also find The Online Pitch Kit, a book promotion tool that lets you contact national media online to pitch your story idea -- instantly and effectively.

And, for those who are interested in book promotion, publicity, and marketing, but who cannot afford to hire a book publicist and have the time to invest in a do-it-yourself compaign, I offer an affordable eBook called How to Market, Sell, Distribute, and Promote Your Book: Critical, Hard-to-Find Information for Authors and Publishers. It's available only online at my Web site -- click here for more information.

So, whether you can afford to hire a book publicist in 2008, or whether you're interested in garnering as much book promotion information as possible, there are book promotion tools available for you to start the new year off right. Happy 2008, and I wish you every book promotion success in the months to come.